There are many reasons you may need to work on your cars bodywork. From dealing with a classic car with rust, damage repair (dents, vandalism, scratches) or making modifications, such as fitting a body kits etc.
Over the years we’ve done the lot, from putting on and modifying body kits to removing rust and rot and repairing damage. The following are just some of the tools we have used that you may find helpful for both those expected and unexpected jobs.
The most useful tool for that rot and rust removal, oh and for cutting through other bits of metal and even plastics. Don’t forget to wear eye protection and a mask and gloves if needed. Don’t be tempted to use it without the guard, I did once and it made a nice neat cut in my finger, be warned!
Grinding Attachments/abrasives that can be attached to a drill or dremel are ideal for those awkward to get to places and for finishing/tidying those areas for final preparation. Steel wool can come in handy and of course sandpaper and sanding blocks. Keep a set of files handy as well.
Always keep a good array of brushes, from old tooth brushes, different size wire brushes and bristle brushes. Good for cleaning away rust, grime, dust and dirt.
Beats prepping your car by hand. Although for final finishing I recommend you rub down your car by hand with a sanding block and final sandpaper, as you can then feel the contour of the bodywork better. For those jobs that require a large amount of added filler or several coats of filler primer, then an orbital sander can save you a lot of time and effort.
OK I’ve got one of these and a will admit I very rarely use it. But If you can’t be bothered to wax your car by hand and you’re after that ultimate finish, then this could be for you.
Hole Saw Set
OK you maybe wondering why this is here, well this is for those who like to play with fibreglass, ideal for making perfect holes – try cutting a petrol cap hole without one!
Pop Rivet Gun
Handy for attaching those body kits to your car, just be aware that nuts and bolts are preferable, although not always possible.
C-Clamp and Clip Clamps
Nothing much to say about these, but bloody handy when you only have 2 hands or you need to hold something in place for something to set.
For pulling out very slightly indented panel damage only. Remember if the dented metal is stretched, then pulling it outwards will likely make it bow outwards.
Hammer and Dolly Set
These will require a degree of skill to use. They allow you to massage dents out in the bodywork.
There are 4 main types of welder that people use for automotive use.
MIG welder (wire electrode), Arc welder (stick electrode), Tig welder (welding rod) and oxyacetylene welding (burning acetylene gas and oxygen). The easiest and most popular among DIYers is the MIG Welder.
Knee Pads and Gloves
The knee pads are for comfort and the gloves are for safety.
There are many more useful tools available to help with your bodywork project. Why not take a look at the air compressor article for more useful bodywork tools.